Well here we are, the St. Louis Blues’ trade deadline moves have come and gone and what we have is more disappointment.
I have been a pretty good fan of Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong. His strong suit as GM is definitely making trades. He’s not the best at developing a quality roster and handing out quality extensions to existing players. But, for the most part, trades are something he does fairly well. So, while I am disappointed by the St. Louis Blues trade deadline. I have to at least recognize that if a move wasn’t made it might not have been best for the team.
Dumping Dead Weight
Regardless, there were at least two more moves to be made today that were not. I realize that this team is a playoff team if everything goes well. But, they are not in any way shape or form a Stanley Cup contender right now. That being said, it is most glaring to me that Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund still have a place on this roster.
These are two players that Doug Armstrong seems to be allergic to getting rid of. For years, we have heard how Berglund is a player who simply can’t become what he should be. A year ago, he put up numbers that showed that maybe he was turning the corner. He finished the season playing all 82 games and finishing with a career-high 23 goals.
This season, he’s back to the same ole Berglund amassing just 14 points across 39 games so far. This is good for a horrendous .35 point per game average, which is quite a bit worse than his normal .045 point per game average.
I realize that not many teams are going to be lining up to take on Berglund and his salary at that point. While I agree with Todd Panula (whom you can find contributing here on Star Wars theories/rumors/news soon) that you don’t just trade players to make a trade. It perplexes me that with the team trying to get younger that they didn’t make dropping him a priority.
Not only that, but there were supposedly multiple teams calling about Vladimir Sobotka whose .38 point per game average is slightly better than Berglund’s. In fact, Respect the Note’s Joey Palazzola had even stated yesterday that he would have been surprised had Sobotka not been dealt today.
Surprise! Armstrong’s fascination with grinders continues, while guys like Tage Thompson, Jordan Kyrou, and Ivan Barbashev could use more NHL seasoning we will be stuck with Sobotka and Berglund wasting useful minutes.
Stastny Move is a Win
At least the day wasn’t a complete waste. The St. Louis Blues trade deadline move of trading Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets for a first round pick and a highly touted prospect is a good move. With guys like Rob Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, and Tage Thompson becoming the focal point for the Blues moving forward. It makes perfect sense to cut bait here of a guy you’re likely not going to sign in the offseason.
As a fan, it is disappointing to see Stastny go. I have always thought that he was underutilized for most of his tenure here and now he simply doesn’t have what he used to have. He’s always been a playmaking centreman and the goals have been nice additions to that, but this team needs production and he wasn’t cutting it.
Something had to be done to hopefully shake these players up a bit and make them realize more moves could be made this summer.
Rift in the Locker Room
One of the most fascinating things to come out of the deadline was a tweet from Blues’ enthusiast and 101 ESPN Producer Dan Bettlach.
From what I gather, the locker room is divided like this. Steen’s guys on one side…. Petro’s on the other. Steen wasn’t thrilled about not getting the C
— Dan Bettlach (@Bettlach101ESPN) February 26, 2018
If this isn’t a problem and a sign of things to potentially come in the offseason, I don’t know what is. In my honest opinion, there was no way the Blues were going to hand out the captaincy to a guy who was either on his way out soon or in the latter stages of his playing career.
While we haven’t seen or heard anything to warrant this kind of reaction from Alex Steen, you never know. We will likely never have any kind of confirmation of this, but whether this is true or not it still doesn’t look good for the Blues locker room.
This is not the first time we’ve heard of issues in the Blues locker room. There were countless times where we heard Ken Hitchcock refer to some of the players as “independent contractors”. While there’s not a whole lot of leftovers from the early days of Hitchcock’s run, there are a couple of notable players still leftover.
Regardless, the team needs to move on now. It’s time to put the bad stretch of play and get back to a team that is pushing for a playoff spot. At the beginning of the season, a playoff spot was pretty much a guarantee. Now, they sit on the outside looking in.
Hopefully, the loss of Stastny will motivate this team to show some pride in their play. Otherwise, they could be looking for new real estate come this offseason. What are your thoughts on the Trade Deadline? Let us know in the comments or on social media!